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Ever wonder what of you is supposed to stay, and what of you is supposed to go?

I do.

People often say: God loves you just the way you are. He created you that way. He designed you special to do things for Him only you can do.

And other people say: You can’t keep doing things the way you do them and expect to get anywhere. Or, you’re never going to be comfortable following God. Or, God’s going to ask you to do things that don’t come natural.

And still others say: He loves you where you’re at, but loves you too much to leave you there.

At my new roomy’s prompting, I took another personality inventory tonight. Same story, different test. It of course had a unique slant and offered more valuable insight than I could possibly retain, let alone put into action.

As I was taking the test, fresh off another zombie-inducing day at work, I was reminded of a few things:

  • I am the doormat-of-a-person I frown upon when I see it in others, reminding me that we tend to be annoyed most about stuff that actually strikes deepest into our own hearts
  • I don’t enjoy much about leadership and I don’t know why, especially since I supposedly have a spiritual gift of leadership
  • I lack direction in my life because, among other reasons, people like me tend to lack direction

Roommate Dan is pretty much exact opposite of me. It must work only because, well, I can pretty much work with anybody. I’m flexible. I’m a mediator. I avoid conflict. I’m steady.

Dan is the excitable visionary. During J-term of his senior year of college, he didn’t take any classes because he wanted to spend time figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. He hadn’t even heard of pharmaceutical sales at that point. But a couple weeks later, he knew he wanted to be a pharma rep. And once he got a job doing that after college, he knew he wanted to be one of the best in the country. So, he promptly made himself No. 16 out of 400 or so. Then he decided he wanted to be a district manager and, a few years later, here he is a district manager. He owns a home he’ll surely profit from when he sells it and moves to Grand Rapids. But even if he doesn’t sell it, that’s okay, because his employer will take it under it’s loving wings.

I, on the other hand, took J-term of my senior year to work and pay bills I still haven’t paid off. Then I graduated from college, went to England and Scotland, acquiring more bills, and came home to help a friend’s dad hang drywall. Then I got a crap job in Ann Arbor that could hardly pay the bills and am working a job that does only slightly better at paying the bills, but does a decent job at creating a retirement account that they’ll probably expect me to donate back to them when I die. Four years and a couple months later, I seem to have less of an idea of what I’m supposed to do with the next 2/3 of my life. All I know is that I don’t want to keep working to pay bills. And that reminds me, I own a home that I’d love to loose only a few thousand on. It’s easy to forget about that when you aren’t actually living in the house you own, but in the far nicer home of your roommate, to whom I give a few hundred he doesn’t need each month.

Dan makes life happen. Life happens to me. (To the extent life happened to the Lost Boys of Sudan? Of course not. I’m venting. I know life isn’t rough for me.)

So, with natural eyes and natural understanding, it’s hard to believe I’m okay and that I’m just the way God wants me. With my welder’s helmet spiritual eyes, it’s maybe a little more believable, but still a stretch. God doesn’t want me yoked to debt, He doesn’t want me wandering around aimlessly and He doesn’t want me to live a passionless life.

And now I’m going to end, because I’ve again stayed up too late doing nothing of consequence, which is probably atop the list of things I’d like to see go.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

4 Comments

Mom

about 11 years ago

I just want to share the Moms In Touch intercessary verse I prayed for you this week: May you know that the Lord God is with you for He is mighty to save. He takes great delight in you and quiets you with His love and rejoices over you with singing. Zephania 3:17.

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Joel

about 11 years ago

Assuming you prayed that before you read my vent, that's obviously a very timely prayer God led you to on my behalf. Thanks, Mom, for the commitment you have to keeping me before the Lord each week. I love you.

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Amanda

about 11 years ago

Joel- Someone once told me that God provides the final destination of where He wants us to be and it's up to us to find our way there. So how will I know I'm there I asked? You'll feel at peace-it's like laying the last piece of a puzzle; everything will all of a sudden come together or at lease not seem like a struggle anymore. Not exactly the most reassuring answer, but then again, it's different for everyone. Anyways, just wanted to say I'm praying for you and that I love your honesty and willingness to share. Thank you. =)

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Christy

about 11 years ago

I'm so glad someone else wonders about this stuff too. I sometimes compare my life to those around me. Any time I think I know where I want to go with my career God gives me a 137 degree turn. I have come to believe that God has a journey planned for us that is as unique as our character. With my control-freak nature and competitive drive, if I had a definite career path it would take me much longer to reach spiritual maturity. (Not that I'm there by any stretch.) When I consider my character qualities and which ones should stay vs. go, I get confused as well. Mostly what I feel from God is to not worry so much about the character I should be and let myself be formed at God's own and with God's own plan. That's never a very satisfactory answer to me because I'd rather have a 6-year strategy broken down by quarters on which character traits I'm going to improve and perfect. But that seems to be the way God is working in my life right now. Hopefully that gives you a little comfort and/or insight on how he might work in yours.

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